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Identity Essay

1827 words - 8 pages

Mike Zukswert
EN 101
Professor Valone
3 November 2014
Muscle Car
I am an independent filmmaker. I have been for about four years. In that time, I have begun and maintained two youtube channels, one for strictly film, and one for showcasing special effects. My main focus is the art and design of film, however. Camera movements, lighting techniques, mood settings, and post-production editing all appeals to me in a way that no other concept or activity can. This past year, I was awarded over seventeen hundred dollars in scholarship money for my accomplishments. Film is clearly a very important, very key aspect of my life. When people ask me what I do, I say I make films. This already ...view middle of the document...

44). This is what Maalouf wants to stress the most; because of his various backgrounds and life elements, his identity has been outlined specific to him and cannot be identically matched by another person. Granted, some people can have similarly constructed lives, but it is physically impossible to have any duplicates. I believe your vertical heritage is one of the most important factors when considering someone’s identity. From what I see, someone’s heritage or religion is something they are proud of and love to reveal. It’s a simple question that is asked out of common courtesy or in general conversation, but it says quite a lot about a person than most people analyze it to be. After a person responds to the question, “where are you from?” ask in response, “have you ever traveled there before?” You can learn much more of about a person when you ask specifics and engage with him or her.
One essential element of the makeup of someone’s identity is the influences of his or her family environment. In Countee Cullen’s excerpt Incident, she describes herself remembering one event in the two-thirds of a year time she spent in Baltimore. One day, she saw a young boy looking straight at her. She was in a blissful mood, filled with joy and delight. However this young boy, not much bigger than her, stuck his tongue out and called Cullen a “nigger.” She was confused. The problem with this is that I believe the boy doesn’t understand the context of the word; he doesn’t understand the derogatory significance and history of the term. Most likely, he has used it because his parents have used it and have taught him to say it. This addresses the issue of racism. Obviously this is a racial outlash towards Cullen, resulting in having an impactual effect on her, but can we truly label this boy a racist? Is that who he is? Many conclude that if your parents live a racist, narrow-minded life, you are born racist. That’s not true. Racism is taught and worked on. Essentially, everything is taught and worked on, not only by just parents, but also teachers, public authorities, presidents, companions, and other figures in the community you are raised in. Nobody is born with an scholarship to Princeton, nobody is born with a PhD. These are all aspects that are instructed and cultivated. This delves into the concept of one’s horizontal heritage, the influence or impact his or her environment has. The reason I believe that this form of parental guidance falls under the horizontal heritage is because the environment that this boy’s parents grew up in also taught them the same concepts. Labeling this boy as a racist, however, is an unfair judgement. It’s not his identity. Someone’s identity changes over time and is continually maintained and corrected, and hopefully this boy will understand the meaning behind the label. Maalouf states, “Identity isn’t given once and for all: it is built up and changes throughout a person’s lifetime” (Reader, pg. 45). It is important to...

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